LASER FACIAL RESURFACING
Laser facial resurfacing provides facial rejuvenation by improving the appearance and texture of the skin. The type of laser facial resurfacing depends on the appearance of the patient’s skin. The plastic surgeon will either use non-ablative or ablative lasers to improve the appearance, texture and pigmentation of the skin
Ablative lasers contain either carbon dioxide (CO2 laser facial resurfacing) or Erbium (Erbium laser facial resurfacing). Ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin (epidermis) by superheating water molecules in the skin causing these upper skin cells to vaporise, while non-ablative lasers work by inducing a controlled injury in the underlying dermis layer of the skin (while keeping the epidermis intact) and causing the body to produce new collagen from below. Non-ablative lasers have less downtime and a milder side effect profile, however, the rejuvenating effects are also less dramatic. Non-ablative lasers include fractional and pulse-dye lasers that can also improve spider veins, rosacea and other skin-related conditions. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can be either non-fractionated (which act on the entire surface area of the treated skin) or fractionated (acting only on an evenly distributed portion of the treated skin surface area). This makes fractionated non-ablative lasers the gentlest type of laser resurfacing.
Laser facial resurfacing treatments reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles using a carbon dioxide (CO2), Erbium laser, Broadband light (BBL) or another laser device, that resurfaces several layers of damaged skin. This procedure also helps to soften lines around the eyes and mouth, minimise facial scars and provides even skin colouring.
Laser facial resurfacing takes approximately one hour, depending on the area to be treated. Some cases may require more than one session – six at most.
General anaesthesia or intravenous sedation with local anaesthesia.
This is an outpatient procedure.
Temporary swelling of the resurfaced area along with mild discomfort, lightening or darkening of treated skin (hypo or hyperpigmentation), acute sun sensitivity and/or increased sensitivity to make-up and skincare products. A pinkness or redness of the skin may persist for up to six months.
Burns or injuries caused by the laser's heat, scarring, abnormal changes in skin colour, a flare-up of viral infections (cold sores) and rarely, other infections.
The patient may return to work after approximately two weeks. More strenuous activities may be resumed after four to six weeks. Complete fading of redness can take up to six months. The patient should avoid sun / ultraviolet light exposure for three to six months. The use of sunblocks that contain UVA and UVB protection is beneficial and strongly recommended.
The results are long-lasting, but laser facial resurfacing does not stop the ageing process. New wrinkles and expression lines may form as the skin continues to age.
WHEN YOU CHOOSE A DOCTOR WHO IS A MEMBER OF APRASSA, YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT YOUR SURGEON IS QUALIFIED IN ALL ASPECTS OF COSMETIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY.
The Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of Southern Africa was formed in 1956. It currently has over 169 members from all around South Africa. All our members are fully qualified Plastic surgeons that have been approved for APRASSA membership and will endeavour to provide you with excellent care throughout your plastic surgery journey.